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Role Playing (Games)

EVE Online Scandal Deliberate Frame-Job? 382

Posted by Zonk
from the don't-believe-everything-you-read dept.
Last Friday, we discussed serious allegations leveled against CCP by players of the game. The comments on the discussion were lively, and pointed. Perhaps a bit too pointed, as CCP's internal affairs investigation claims that a plot to smear the company with false accusations over the long holiday weekend was behind the flurry of online activity. "The objective of this scheme was to permanently paint CCP as a biased and corrupt company that favors a select group of players over the rest of our community. In this particular case, instead of receiving notification of a possible problem and sufficient time to examine and address it, we faced a coordinated and hostile attack executed on our forums, Digg, Wikipedia, Slashdot, and other outlets at the beginning of a three-day weekend. We believe this speaks volumes of the intention of the person(s) responsible for orchestrating this scheme. Verification of this can be readily found on the forums of the people responsible--or at least could, the last time we looked." Scott Jennings over at Broken Toys points the finger at the Goon Fleet corporation, an organization based out of the Something Awful forums. As I noted in the original post, the evidence presented on both sides is challenging to verify independently. Take everything you read about these events with a grain of salt.
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EVE Online Scandal Deliberate Frame-Job?

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  • hoo boy (Score:4, Funny)

    by MonorailCat (1104823) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @12:23AM (#19317969)
    I see your scandal, and raise you a CONSPIRACY! One of my friends tried to get me into this game, so glad I didn't end up playing...
    • by cloricus (691063)
      I wonder who is going to go all in first?
    • Re:hoo boy (Score:4, Funny)

      by Ohreally_factor (593551) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @02:45AM (#19318591) Journal
      Yeah, this stinks of a Conspiracy. Stinks on ice. Did you know that Karl Rove and Harriet Myers are both on the Eve board of directors? Did you know that over 75% of the employees are recent grads of Regent University's new Christian Gaming department? The only way to get to the bottom of this is if Bush will answer the following questions: What did he know? And when did he know it?
      • by Miseph (979059)
        Good job mods, parent is a joke... it's funny, laugh.

        Mod parent up, or at least something other than "troll".
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Andy Dodd (701)
      I'm not sure how to submit something to be added as an "update" but here goes:

      http://goonfleet.com/reply_to_CCP.html [goonfleet.com] - SA/Goon's response to the latest CCP devblog. It is extremely well written, and I agree with it completely despite the fact that I think the SA crew (and GoonFleet) are assholes.
  • by popo (107611) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @12:24AM (#19317979) Homepage
    A little lesson in PR for a company obviously challenged in this department:

    Don't go on the defensive by playing the "victim" card. (Newsflash: No one cares.)

    Here's what skilled PR departments do:
    Make strong statements of integrity. Fire someone. Institute a new policy or two.
    Devise a system of compensating those wronged. Spend money on public relations,
    advertising and technological improvements. Claim (regardless of truth) that the
    problem has been solved and that (wait for it...) the reason people hate you is
    because your products are so damn good.

    I didn't make up the rules. They've been etched in stone for a while now.

    • by zippthorne (748122) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @01:21AM (#19318283) Journal
      What're you talking about? Their whining has literally doubled their free advertising over the past week.

      A more cynical person than me would conclude that they manufactured the entire scandal specifically for the press.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jugalator (259273)
      Bah, I prefer to hear their impression of the story rather than a softened, skewed PR-speak version crafted for the "public". If they lied to the public in the way you propose, we would instead have had "they cover it up" comments here on Slashdot. Now we have stupid "they act like a victim and even if they are they shouldn't" stuff. :-p
    • by tukkayoot (528280) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @06:31AM (#19319491) Homepage

      Don't go on the defensive by playing the "victim" card. (Newsflash: No one cares.)

      They actually tried this in the last scandal, which actually ended up having some truth behind the allegations, to solicit sympathy from the player community and, I guess, to mitigate the any harsh feelings directed at the devs and CCP in general. In an announcement that the company's investigation was complete [eve-online.com], the game's community manager mentioned how the whistleblower who was responsible in large part for bringing the whole controversy to light outed the player character identities of a few developers. He stated that, as per company policy, these developers had those characters removed from the game, and, boo-hoo, were forced to end their long-standing relationships with friends and corp-mates in game.

      I was flabbergasted by the ineptitude of their PR.

      It didn't help that some of the specific allegations of wrongdoing that were made by the whistleblower went unaddressed until a later post, some of which turned out to be on the mark. One of the developers admitted to supplying items to his corp-mates using by abusing his dev tools. For the record, he wasn't fired (I don't recall what disciplinary action they took, if any, beyond removing his player characters and possibly compelling him to make a public apology.)
      • by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7@nOspaM.cornell.edu> on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @09:15AM (#19320451) Homepage
        If these allegations had come out of nowhere from GoonSwarm, no one would have believed them.

        Unfortunately for CCP, they have already been caught trying to cover up allegations that turned out in the end to be true, and a large portion of the playerbase does not believe that CCP handled the initial incident properly at all.

        Most of us were willing to give them a second chance, but so far, they're blowing it.

        An insightful poster in the EVE Online forums said, "You know you're in trouble when the majority of your playerbase is more inclined to believe an organization that was responsible for the term Photoshop Friday than they are inclined to believe you." Honestly, while the Something Awful/GoonSwarm crew may be assholes, they make NO effort to hide that fact. They're blatant about it, and a lot of people will prefer an open blatant asshole (you know what to expect from them) to a backstabbing sleazebag (They're acting nice, but what are they REALLY up to?)

        After the t20 incident, CCP destroyed any trust the playerbase had in them. They tried to cover up the t20 scandal for as long as they could (including banning anyone who discussed or linked to the allegations), and in the end it turned out that the allegations were true. At that point, t20 got a small slap on the wrist and the BPOs were removed from the game, but not the ingame money they generated (and hence the damage they caused). By the time CCP addressed the issue, the ingame balance of power had already been permanently altered. t20 is still with the company, and no effort was made to repair the damage he did. In any other MMO, the damage a rogue developer could have done is far less, and despite that, it's known that other MMO companies (Blizzard, Mythic) are FAR stricter about dev/GM misconduct - at any other company, t20 would be LONG gone, but the fact is that as long as he is still with the company and the playerbase continues to fail to see heads roll, they will never trust CCP again.

        The funniest thing is the fact that they say "trust us, we'll do what's right" when so far they have an established track record of not doing so.

        Yes, I am now actively looking for another game to play. I was passively waiting for something better to be released, but now I think I can find something better from the list of what is already out there.
        • by infodragon (38608) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @01:20PM (#19324047)
          As far as I know, T20 is a Sr developer that was part of the beginning team. He may have stock in the company and it may have been legally impossible to fire him.

          Just a thought and not a defense. I love eve and play it quite a bit. The acts of T20 were unconscionable and should have been handled differently. "Those that were responsible for sacking the producers have been sacked" type thing.

          Anyway end of my rant.

          -Infodragon
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rallion (711805)

      Make strong statements of integrity. Fire someone. Institute a new policy or two.
      Devise a system of compensating those wronged.


      If the complaint isn't true, though, the only one wronged would be the person you fired.
  • by hobbesmaster (592205) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @12:26AM (#19317987)
    First of all, its Goonswarm is the alliance and Goonfleet is the corp.

    CCP, while whining about the posting of all this stuff to slashdot and digg, and then claiming that they've shown all the accusations to be false, is being rather misleading. They've completely ignored one of the very serious accusations (the one that said that players have the msn contact details of devs - sure they had a petition, but 5 minutes turn around on a petition resulting in the dismissal of a volunteer has to be a speed record in the world of MMORPGs), and actually more or less acknowledged the one about rigging story lines. Their defense to the rigging accusation that they didn't know how they were going to rig the ending yet. Uh, yeah, that certainly clears you of the accusations... (to their credit, they have thoroughly dismissed the accusation involving a dev infiltrating a player corp).

    The funny thing is that they make a veiled threat of legal action against the somethingawful.com - that'll be quite a sight to see! I can't see CCP coming out on top of that battle. (regardless of whether their lawsuit has any legal merit)
    • Not really (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rix (54095)
      Goons have shat over quite a few small MMOish games. I have no reason to doubt they'd pull something like this.
    • The funny thing is that they make a veiled threat of legal action against the somethingawful.com - that'll be quite a sight to see!

      Well I for one hope that the somethingawful people have protection.

      Because if they have stairs in their house they are likely to get pushed down them...

      I certainly feel like doing that every time someone asks me if I have stairs in my house.
      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by imsabbel (611519)
        I for one thing hope they dont.
        They are the one of the most arrogant piles of shit in the web, and could really need a downer.
        (got i hate the " I payed money to post, and money for my avatar, and money to use the search, so we are all better than the rest of the internet" thing they have going)
    • by pilot1 (610480)
      They've completely ignored one of the very serious accusations (the one that said that players have the msn contact details of devs - sure they had a petition, but 5 minutes turn around on a petition resulting in the dismissal of a volunteer has to be a speed record in the world of MMORPGs), and actually more or less acknowledged the one about rigging story lines.

      Isn't it more likely that one of the devs was in BoB and heard about the petition ingame? It's no secret that the devs are encouraged to play t
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cowscows (103644)
        Higher ups in BoB have acknowledged on the Eve-o forum that they have direct access to various Devs/GMs and such via out-of-game channels. But even if what you're suggesting is the explanation, is that any more fair? Why should one group of players get to skip the petition queue? Why should their issues, valid or not, get addressed any faster than everyone else's?

  • way too serious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wizardforce (1005805) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @12:30AM (#19318003) Journal
    it doesnt surprise me that this sort of thing happened- first players accuse each other of cheating then they accuse one of the biggest organizations in EVE of helping players cheat- then the accused declare a conspiracy.. neigher seems to have much evidence- but that isnt the point. the point is that a lot of players are taking the game to be something greater than what it is- way too seriously in fact. they need to remember that there is a world out there- everything doesnt revolve around EVE any more than it does any other game. if they really feel compelled to take action on it- fine get some evidence but what they should do is just move on... this sort of thing happened at least once before with EVE [in game scams etc.] but everyone moved on.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by misleb (129952)
      I thought the in-game scams were kinda funny. And i think that a lot of it adds depth and character to the game. EVE is one game where "griefers" become "outlaws" or "pirates." Maybe games shouldn't be like real life, but it sure is interesting when they are. ;-)

      -matthew
      • EVE is one game where "griefers" become "outlaws" or "pirates." Maybe games shouldn't be like real life, but it sure is interesting when they are. ;-)

        heh this all reminds me of how starcraft became so "gang" [clan] oriented- some of them had a reputation not unlike the real gangs- people wouldnt fight them unless they were very skilled- then it became quite amusing to slaghter entire swaths of clans that way :) hackers same thing- alot more fun than fighting in a "fair" fight. so in a sense the cheating

    • by RollinDutchMasters (932329) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @01:12AM (#19318235)
      EVE is one of the few MMOGs where other players can legitimately destroy huge amounts of your hard work, if you've dared to step into the alliance warfare arena. People don't like to be beaten, it's far easier to accept that you've lost if you have something to pin it on. Traditional targets have been incompetent allies, the vague 'internal problems', people leaving EVE for other games (Lineage II was popular with the old Forsaken Empire - too popular), essentially anything which can deflect blame. The odd 'CCP is helping my enemies cheat' accusation cropped up, but that was relatively uncommon - up until about a year ago, that is. Since then, everything is a result of someone, anyone, with authority tilting the scales in favor of the other guy. If you're winning, its because someone is cheating for you. It's both incredibly sad and completely unsurprising that the human response to losing at even trivial games is to bitch and moan - a problem which is compounded on the internet, because you can make up whatever you want and noone will ever have the ability to tell you to stop being an ass. At least in organized sports, the "Fucking Refs" phenomenon only works for a limited time, until someone slaps the hell out of you and tells you to stop being an idiot.
      • I think there in lies the problem with "fair and balanced" game play. Realize that 99% of the real world lives on 1% of the scraps. Unfortunately, telling players that they'll create 9 characters that never reach past level 10 and have to kill boars all day won't gain very many people looking for a fun time if you only allow 1% of the characters to reach level 60 for example. The traditional real space model of "I have and you don't" doesn't work. Nor does the "let everybody have everything" because the
        • by Moraelin (679338) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @02:54AM (#19318627) Journal
          Actually, it's not that hard a concept. Most games essentially let everyone have everything (suitable for their class), if they just put enough work into it. That's what "fair" means. If you do X units of work (not even do it _well_ or better than everyone else), you're guaranteed a promotion. That's what XP is for example.

          It actually works pretty damn well, because you don't have to have a working pyramid. Unlike RL you don't need 1000 peons or more to have a millionaire. You can have half the MMO's population stuck at level 70 for example. (And take a census on WoW sometime if you don't believe me. The bar graph looks like lots of tiny little bars for all levels and a huge spike at level 70.)

          It doesn't even have to be all about levels, you can give people lots of other rewards too.

          Games are an easy case to make "fair", because you there isn't an actual need to make it "unfair". You don't actially need a privileged 1% minority of rich guys (for bonus points, whose only merit there was being the always drunk son of the guy who actually earned that money) creating employment for everyone else. The game can create any amount of employment or virtual money needed by itself. E.g., a single finite instance, can keep an infinite number of players "employed" hacking those monsters for xp and loot.

          For that reason, you don't have to give anyone privileges over anyone else, much less tolerate (or worse: create) blatant nepotism, like the accusation here went. There is no, "see, Jack wins every time only because he's Richie McMoney's nephew, but, you see, we need rich robber-barons like McMoney to keep the economy going, so quit yer pinko commie whining and get back to work. You wouldn't even have a job if it weren't for people like McMoney." Again, here it's the game's responsibility to create the "jobs" and the rewards, you don't need to put some pricks in privileged positions for that.

          And it can get as lopsided as it wants to. You can basically have everyone be a CEO (don't laugh, there are games where everyone owns a company), without worrying that noone is a worker. Who cares? You can have millions of workers as NPCs or abstracted as "your company has 2500 workers, 500 clerks, and 100 researchers" numbers. Or you can have everyone be a king, and noone be a peasant, if you want to. Or whatever.

          So "fair" is actually very easy. Most games are "fair" by default unless you actively screw that up. (Which is what CCP is accused of doing.)

          And, frankly, it can be prevented. I've been on free MUDs which policed themselves against just this kind of thing. Everything a wizard/creator/builder/whatever gave a player or did to a player was logged and reviewed, and it was cause for immediate termination if you went and made the game unfair to reward your buddies. Can't a company do the same? How hard _can_ it be?

          Now "balanced" is a more tricky proposition, and that one takes real skill and work. That much I'll admit. That's what separates good designers from wannabes. Kudos to those who can get that right. But "fair"? "Fair" is the default.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Chatsubo (807023)
            I play EVE. And the reason I play EVE, is exactly what you just spelled out. All those other games, anyone can get to the top. I want a game where I have to apply myself to get there, and where I have something to lose. And just like in real life, there are people who understand how to play the situation. Do I agree with the favouratism? No. But I can't stop it. RL is corrupt too. You can't police EVE perfectly just like you can't police RL perfectly.

            EVE still is, and will be for a while, the only game that
            • by Moraelin (679338) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @05:31AM (#19319231) Journal
              If that's what keeps you entertained, you can even play russian roulette, as far as I'm concerned. But that still doesn't justify fixing it. If the gun is rigged so one of the players can't lose (it's actually possible nowadays), then wtf is the point of playing against them?

              And comparisons to RL are emotional and all, but missing the point. Noone said they have to police against players who play better. I do, however, say that they should police their own fucking devs.

              In most cases it doesn't even need active surveillance, but just making sure there are consequences and you fire the twits who can't stay honest. Same as casino employees, for example, if you want an example with real wins and losses and pulse racing. It doesn't mean you'll have three guys watching each other and the blackjack dealer, it means you make sure everyone knows they'll never work again in that town and possibly face prosecution too if they're caught cheating.

              And, from what I understand, CCP already failed in that aspect once. "Uh, we moved the guy to another team" doesn't even start to give the right message to either party. It's like a casino saying "uh, it was only one crooked dealer, and we, erm, moved him to the roulette instead of the blackjack table" in a case like that. It doesn't give the right message to either the patrons or to the other employees.

              And I don't think any casino there would go, "yeah, well, RL is corrupt too, we can't police it", by the way. It _is_ possible to build a whole business on the idea that it's fair and honest, and at least legal gambling went to great lengths to build and preserve that image. Especially _because_ everyone has seen movies about rigged roulette tables and money laundering via the blackjack table, and expects that kind of thing, they go to great lengths to distance themselves as far as possible from that kind of an image. They don't go and confirm it, since everyone was expecting it anyway.

              So, well, I don't think a MMO company is absolutely unable to do the same thing.
  • but.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JustNiz (692889)
    Regardless of wheter they have been wrongly accused this time or not, this isn't the first time by a long way that CCP have been in the headlines following accusals of corruption of the game.
  • No such thing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by iminplaya (723125)
    as bad press. Somebody's looking for attention?
    • Would this convince you to sign up for the game? Or, rather, would it make you continue playing if you started to lose interest?

      MMORPGs are played to build your character so you can sometime reach the top levels. In "traditional" MMORPGs this means, you can go down dungeons and come up with the most prized items. Would it convince you to start one when you hear that the top level dungeons are allegedly reserved for the devs and their buddies?
      • by Fizzl (209397)
        I actually just started downloadin the client.I played a bit maybe two years ago, and found it boring. I'll have a stab at it now. Perhaps I can make my cargo business work better now.
  • by Xelios (822510) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @12:40AM (#19318073)
    Having seen both sides of these latest allegations I'm inclined to agree with CCP, it really doesn't look like they did anything wrong in these cases. Whether their actions were deliberatly taken out of context in these allegations or not I don't know, but many people felt this is exactly what would happen after the monumental mishandling of the first incident involving t20.

    The damage done in that first scandal is going to take CCP a long time to fix and anything fishy between now and then is going to be portrayed in the wrong light by default.

    However I have no doubt certain groups in the game have benefitted from having developers in their ranks. Not just BoB, though I'd suspect they've gained more than the average advantage over the years. I personally know a few people who are either good friends with developers or have access to certain databases internal to CCP's development and testing team. Although they're hesitant to share "inside information" I've learned a lot about the game from them that can't be found anywhere else. Put one of them in charge of an entire alliance and you can be sure they'd put that information to good use, gaining an unfair advantage for an entire group of players in the process.

    These latest accusations may have been baseless, but there are still problems that need to be addressed. A major one is transparency. If CCP employees are going to be playing the game there can only be two policies; complete secrecy or complete transparency. They tried the former and failed, time for another approach.
    • by MMaestro (585010) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @02:32AM (#19318541)
      Seriously, thats what CCP is more or less telling the public at this point. After the PR nightmare involving t20, CCP is basically trying to blow off this entire incident. After the t20 incident, we KNOW that some of the staff have had some level of interaction with guilds/clans that resulted in said guilds/clans getting a leg up on the competition (however great or small it is).

      Suddenly, another EVE scandal is revealed and CCP tells people they're being framed? After months/years of various accusations? Its completely and utterly unbelievable.

    • MOD Parent up (Score:5, Interesting)

      by forgotten_my_nick (802929) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @02:51AM (#19318619)
      I'm inclined to agree with you. I've been watching the latest scandal and CCP for the most part handled it well. Especially after the last SNAFU.

      Personally I see it as the game maturing. Anyway remember Ultima Online from years ago? Various tales of GMs helping friends, looking after castles for famous baseball players and manufacturing gold faster then Rumpelstiltskin. They put in a lot of processes/systems to stop this.

      CCP is just doing the same.

      Btw, I believe any game where the players have interaction with GMs/dev team at any level will eventually call claims of favoritism/cheating. I recall stories like this from Asherons Call or City of Heroes. In those games the Dev/GMs vary become visible in the game.
    • They have made the decision to allow their devs to play the game.

      *ALL* of the negative publicity is a DIRECT result of this decision. CCP has no one to blame for this but themselves.
  • In the controversies I've seen over EVE, just as a bystander I've felt considerable pressure to pick a side in the argument, despite not knowing anything about it. One thing keeping me from signing up is the thought that I'll have to deal with this kind of bullshit in-game as well - I don't mean "CCP allegedly doing something unfair" bullshit, I mean "intergalactic flame war" bullshit. I don't care if the developers are giving any faction an unfair advantage. I don't want to care whether the developers are
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      To be honest, having played Eve for over a year now, nearly all of this drama is played out on the forum. The ingame atmosphere is unlike any other, mostly due to the fact that you are putting your efforts on the line nearly every time you logon. This fosters a spirit ive yet to encounter anywhere else. Just ignore the forums.
  • CCP is doing bad PR (Score:5, Interesting)

    by A beautiful mind (821714) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @12:53AM (#19318125)
    They spent pages debunking the part that every reasonable player knew to be false and then basically said what amounted to 'oh yea that wasn't true either' to the real allegations that actually concern people. Then they played the high horse victim card.

    It is sad. Eve Online is a good game, with crap management.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @12:54AM (#19318129)
    What continues to confound me as this drama unfolds is why do people who disgruntled with Eve continuing to play Eve? If you so strongly believe CCP is rigging their sandbox, why continue to pay to play in it? Do you think that if you continue to saber rattle while cutting them a monthly check is going to fix anything? The real power is in the subscriptions. Lessen their cash intake and they will be forced to respond or at least figure out a more subtle way slink around and deal with bad press.

    Otherwise stfu about threating to cancel your multiple subscriptions. The more you continue to pay, the more you continue to ask be fucked. They are more than willing to oblige so long as your checks clear.
    • by drgnvale (525787) <.ude.onu.sc. .ta. .nitsirca.> on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @01:00AM (#19318173) Homepage
      That is a very good point, but you see, eve actually is a really fun game and we'd kinda like for it to be successful which would be helped if the company running it cared more about the success of the game than about playing the game themselves and looking guilty every couple of weeks. But you know, a lot of people have been voting with their feet; eve's number of user's online has been dropping for weeks.
    • by ZorbaTHut (126196)
      Because, in some ways, we're now at war with CCP.

      Personally, my goal is to defeat BoB or destroy CCP trying. If CCP has to cheat blatantly and repeatedly in order to defeat us, people are going to notice - and we'll end up with story after story on Slashdot, each one exposing CCP as The Company Running The Rigged MMORPG. And each time, people are going to unsubscribe, and people who were going to subscribe are going to change their minds.

      Here's a screenshot [imageshack.us] of a thread where one of the developers involved w
    • Canceling one's subscription will result in one losing all of the work that one has invested into one's character. If one cancels now and then comes back later, one will be at a greater disadvantage than if one had continued to pay while demanding change. It is my understanding that this is especially relevant in EVE, where a character's position may represent hundreds or thousands of hours of work. I suspect that many of the complaints are coming from people who neither want to forfeit their investment
  • Link to "the GoonFleet Corporation" is a goatse now.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @01:10AM (#19318227)

    Roger, the guy down the hall in room 415, just pulled off the craziest move in Tetris history, clearing 12 rows in three moves, on level 14. Onlookers in the Stupid Tetris Fans United (STFU) guild were quick to point out that this is unpossible, and must be the result of some kind of scandal.

    Rival guild Zoo Ostrich Masichist's Guild!!1! (ZOMG!!1!) allege that Roger's game is totally illigetimate, oweing to the fact that he once made a tetris game for his calculator while fucking around in high school math class. One member was over heard saying "It's a conspiracy. We all know Roger's in the tetris industry."

    Representitives from ZOMG!!1! and STFU were not available for comment, but one thing is certain: news of this scandal is spreading like wildfire, and the tetris world may never be the same.

  • by HarryCaul (25943) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @01:20AM (#19318275)

    Combative and derisive towards the accusations made. Yeah, that's what an "internal affairs" investigation should be. The tone is 100% supportive of CCP and 100% belligerant to the accusers, and because of that fact ALONE, I simply cannot believe anything the "investigator" says.

    I mentioned in a previous thread I'd been undecided on joining EVE, this one blog post locks it down for me- this company will not see a dime of my money, ever.
    • Erh... that's what an "internal affairs" department is about. Trying to keep things under cover, and if impossible, whitewash the company. At least to the outsiders. To the inside, it maybe quite different, and they might even do something about it, but to the outside, the plain white facade has to be maintained.
    • I simply cannot believe anything the "investigator" says.

      Yet you apparently have no problem believing everything the accusers say. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not convinced CCP is innocent here, but I'm not convinced they're guilty, either. But it seems rather ridiculous (and I'm not just talking about you but also about a bunch of other people who posted further up) to make up one's mind after hearing one side of a story already and then dismissing the other side of the story because it doesn't match

  • by NeuroManson (214835) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @01:59AM (#19318431) Homepage
    I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked! Next eBaum's world will be under suspicion for not having original content! The scandal!
  • Wargames reference (Score:3, Insightful)

    by edwardpickman (965122) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @02:57AM (#19318635)
    A strange game, the only winning move is not to play.
  • How come a Gm gets his complaint answered in 1 day as shown via the CCP thread they posted. I had this same issue and it took me over 1 month to get a response from CCP at this same time. Every ticket me or my corp enters takes over 20 days for a reply. This account which they acknowledge as a gm account got serviced in 1 day.


    so no favoritism there. Sure this Gm may not have been able to take actions on his own account and had to place the petition to get the issue resolved, he still received favorab
    • by mcvos (645701)
      Isn't a GM a volunteer who is doing work for CCP? Makes sense they want to keep him happy.

      To show favouritism, you have to show that a corp gets its complaints answered much
      faster than other people.
  • by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @03:10AM (#19318673) Homepage
    I have always thought that all the constant high pitched noise on MMORPG fora were just spoiled kids and other immature people whining because the virtual world didn't revolve around them.

    It probably still is, but at least this article suggest that there can be more to it than that. Groups of people trying to create "events" by coordinated manipulation of the fora means that the in-game groups are trying to extend their actions to the real world, or at least a level of virtuality close to the real world (fora like /.). This is so much more interesting.

  • I wonder... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @03:38AM (#19318771)
    How many naysayers of CCP here are from somethingawful?

    Let's not forget that the goonfleet internal forums show standing orders to tarnish CCP's image.

    http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topi c&threadID=527762 [eve-online.com]

    From dev blog:

    Since last Friday, an unnamed corporation posted over 4000 times on EVE's message boards concerning these allegations. In addition, 1046 posts were made on Digg.com; 235 comments were added on Slashdot; and made multiple EVE-related edits on Wikipedia. Each of these sites was hit within a few hours of each other, at the start of the three-day Memorial Day weekend in the US and a three-day weekend in Iceland, all referencing unfounded allegations -- now proven to be false -- that occurred three weeks ago or longer.

    Goon fleet members spammed the forums so much that CCP was forced to shut them down (I saw it happen; an entire front page worth of spam). And some people still thing its a CCP conspiracy?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by velco (521660)
      Goon fleet members spammed the forums so much that CCP was forced to shut them down (I saw it happen; an entire front page worth of spam). And some people still thing its a CCP conspiracy?

      Goonfleet members spammed forums after a single thread, asking for investigation of allegations was deleted by censors. The web site worked prefectly fine until CCP shut down the forums, because the censors couldn't delete fast enough the posts.
    • Re:I wonder... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ShortSpecialBus (236232) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @11:11AM (#19321971) Homepage
      One thing that should have been made more clear in the open letter and all the posts was the fact that every reasonable method of trying to find answers was ignored/removed by CCP and the mods. The reasonable forum post was instantly deleted, petitions questioning the DS1 thing (which would have answered teh whole thing right away!) were deleted with no responses, and since only BoB have MSN access, there really wasn't much left.

      CCP went out of their way to ignore the questions until they needed to be made public enough to not be ignored.
  • It's tought to make a ton of ISK consistently in EVE, and for those that do, its quite lucrative from a RL$ to in game currency. Some 1B isk goes for what? $90 U.S dollars?

    CCP keeps a tight fist on the isk department -- except for the lucky lottery winners of T2 ships. Yet if they nerf the economy such that everybody can make the lucrative isk, then they will lose 50% of thier player base.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @04:06AM (#19318869)
    Now, I wouldn't call it impossible with the Something Aweful crowd involved. They do have a record trying to destroy what others built. But, seriously, how could they if there wasn't already a reason to believe them?

    If EvE was a fully credible game, with a CCP having a record of being straight, honest and upright towards its customers, with no favorism, remembered for being fair and unbiased, with no sensible allegations pending that there could remotely be some kind of intermingling between developers and player groups, the whole case would be laughed off.

    The problem is, it's anything but that. There have been such allegations before, there have been shady deals, there have been cases where we've seen favorism.

    Can this be a plot by some dissatisfied players to bring down the game? Sure. Could it succeed if there wasn't "prior art" of that kind? Certainly not.
  • Seriously? (Score:2, Insightful)

    Come on guys. Goon Fleet. That's all that needs to be said.
    • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Lehk228 (705449) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @07:18AM (#19319679) Journal
      i'll trust a Goon over CCP any day
      • by Andy Dodd (701)
        As others have commented:

        Prior to the t20 scandal, many would have said the same thing.

        After the t20 scandal and the way it was botched/non-handled (covered up, then finally admitted with no corrective action taken - t20 is still with the company), people actually are more likely to trust the Goons than CCP.

        It doesn't help that two of the Goon's accusations in this round were true (albeit whitewashed so as not to look quite as bad as they seemed) with the most serious one as of yet unaddressed.
  • Damned if you do.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Durzel (137902) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @04:31AM (#19318983) Homepage
    EVE Online would appear to be the perfect example of what happens if Devs appear to be *too* involved in playing the game, yet as any MMO player will attest - forums are filled with people crying about Devs not having "real-World experience of the problems class x is having". Seems like they're damned if they do, damned if they don't.

    From a player perspective I can see how damaging it would be to even be seen to show bias one way or the other towards a class, guild, corp. or whatever the game terminology happens to be. From a developer perspective it must be quite frustrating not being able to enjoy the game in all its splendor (guild raiding, etc included) whilst simultaneously having to deal with legions of forum whiners moaning about how the Devs "dont know how the game works at the ground level".

    And of course let's not forget that MMO communities are, without exception, always incredulous, accusatory, fickle and obstinate on the game forums. Everyone has their tinfoil hat on 24/7, expects (demands) the Earth for their $15 a month and despite having very little visibility of the organisational goals, objectives and constraints everyone purports to be "in the know", a programming expert and a visionary. It must be soul-destroying to have to deal with people with this mindset day-in, day-out. Being a Dev on a MMO must be like living life as a major politician: every word spoken about the game (especially on the forums) has to be carefully crafted so as to be totally unambigious and unemotional, since you can guarantee that the World and his dog will deconstruct and scrutinise every syllable, all the while presupposing a hidden agenda (again, tinfoil). It's no wonder Devs usually don't speak much on the forums.

    (A slightly amusing anecdote: I was reading the Star Wars Galaxies forums recently as I used to play and a Dev made the heinous mistake of getting involved in an off-topic discussion about American Football teams. Naturally before long someone piped up saying "it's great that you're talking on here but shouldn't you be looking at the pressing issue of Spy DoT damage not being mitigated whilst wearing the Eye of Sauron ring? If you don't fix this I'm quitting and so is my entire family, friends & pet.". Ok I'm being facetious to prove a point, but it was still disheartening to read).

    Ultimately this huge controversy, whilst ultimately of little interest to me as an outsider, has given me a fresh outlook and sympathy towards MMORPG developers.
    • Although it was before the age of graphical MMORPGs, I used to run a couple moderate-sized MUDs. The problems are the same, the screen just isn't as pretty.

      The answer to this is simple, and two-fold:

      From a player perspective I can see how damaging it would be to even be seen to show bias one way or the other towards a class, guild, corp. or whatever the game terminology happens to be.

      Yes, anytime your devs are involved in the game, the perception that the game is not fair will become widespread. And in fa
    • by Andy Dodd (701)
      The problem here is that in EVE, direct dev involvement can do far more damage to game balance (while not being blatantly obvious) due to the game design. In other MMOs, a dev would have to do something blatantly obvious to the entire playerbase to have a lasting effect on game balance.
  • Ah, Scott Jennings, AKA, Lumthemad. I so enjoyed his stuff during the heyday of eq1. He is, and forever will be, the gossip columnist of mmogs. But, I do feel my that my bean juice just spilled over into my applie pie when I see this crap on my fav tech/geek site, /. ....

  • by mw13068 (834804) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @08:33AM (#19320083)
    "Take everything you read about these events with a grain of salt."

    I'll do one better and just not care at all.

"Consequences, Schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich." -- "Ali Baba Bunny" [1957, Chuck Jones]

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